The human resource department is vital to an organization’s overall effectiveness. An organization’s human resources are one of its most essential assets. Without human capital, most businesses would not be able to operate effectively. Effective human resource planning is essential to developing the organization’s core competencies, which is necessary for meeting the organization’s long-term goals. The bottom line goal of human resource planning is to ensure the organization has the right employees in the right place at the right time.
Traditionally, human resource (HR) planning involved a short-term approach designed to simply keep positions filled. However, the increasing impact of rapidly changing technology, increased diversity in the workplace and an expanding global economy has forced many human resource departments to take a longer view of HR management and planning.
Contemporary human resource planning typically involves ongoing training and development for workers to ensure the organization retains the capabilities necessary to build and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage over the long term.
Organizational planning is most effective when conducted with a strategic approach. The strategic planning process is useful whether used at the organizational or departmental level. Strategic planning begins with a vision or mission statement defining the desired direction of the organization or department. In human resource planning, strategies may be created in conjunction with an overall organizational mission statement or according to a more specific human resource mission statement.
The successful motivation of workers is an essential aspect of effective human resource planning. SMART goals are a common strategic management tool used to motivate employees. SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. In HR, they are relevant to the mission of the overall organization or human resource department and tied to a specific time line for completion. This goal-setting tool is vital for effective human resource planning as it helps managers set goals that workers believe they may actually be able to achieve.
Human resource planning strategies are most effective when created to align with overall organizational strategies. For example, the human resource department is responsible for ensuring workers may maintain optimum performance levels to meet the financial goals of the organization. According to the eCornell website, “A thorough understanding of your organization's value creation model and ability to develop competencies through processes, technology and people are essential to ensuring that the HR organization is aligned vertically and horizontally to produce superior results.”